After shaking off the effects of the Thanksgiving buffet, Americans are off to the stores to indulge in crazy Black Friday shopping sprees. Black Friday is one of the most-awaited holidays of the year. It’s the day when people storm the stores in droves to do some serious Christmas shopping. Many are ready to push, jostle, and claw their way to the most coveted sale items. Black Friday is every super shopper’s ultimate dream, but does anyone really know when and how Black Friday started? Here are some interesting bits of information.
- Black Friday meant post-Thanksgiving laziness in the 1950s
The earliest use of the term “Black Friday” was in the 1950s in a labor market newsletter called Factory Management and Maintenance. The newsletter referred to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” to denote the practice of workers not reporting for work after celebrating Thanksgiving so they could enjoy a long weekend holiday.
- Black Friday informally began in the 1960s
From the time Macy’s Department Store started its Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday right after Thanksgiving has been known to be the unofficial start to of the Christmas shopping season. In the 1960s, the term “Black Friday” was used by merchants to call the shopping season. “Black” signified earnings as stores were expected to turn a profit for the year and move from being “in the red.” Back then, accountants used red ink to show negative amounts in the books.
- Black Friday meant chaos for Philadelphia police in the 1960s
Historically, the word “black” as an adjective was used to call days when calamities occurred. Thus, the term “Black Friday” was also used by the Philadelphia police to describe the large crowds and traffic congestion caused by the hordes of shoppers flocking the stores in the 1960s. In a PR attempt to improve the chaotic image associated with the term “Black Friday,” merchants in Philadelphia even attempted to change the term to “Big Friday” but the new name did not fly.
- Black Friday started to mean serious shopping 1970s
Though the term “Black Friday” remained a Philadelphia buzzword for a long time, the New York Times used the term in their November 29, 1975 issue, and called the day as the “the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year” in Philadelphia. The term gained national attention in the 1980s and soon became widespread.
Today, the term Black Friday can cause an adrenaline-induced frenzy among bargain hunters as well as cause violent outbursts to some. But despite the craziness, it still holds the title as the biggest shopping day of the year.